Research Our Collections

The AVHC is in the middle of a multi-year project to create an online catalog of our collections. Access to our collection at this time is limited, but we strive to support public access as much as possible.

Until our online catalog is live, there are three ways you can research our collections:
1. Stream samples of our collection here.
2. Review our collections descriptions below.
3. Send a reference request to the Audiovisual Archivist.

We are working to get to your research requests as quickly as possible. Research requests can take up to 2-3 weeks to complete. Research and preservation fees may apply to some requests. Thank you for working with us!


The following collections from Metro Archives' Audiovisual Heritage Center were inventoried in part thanks to the Archives Development Program Direct Grant, administered through the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The AVHC is generously supported by the Nashville Public Library Foundation.

Most footage that has been digitized is available upon request. Some footage may not be immediately available due to COVID-19. Please refer to our vimeo page to see some of the digitized collections listed here.

James Kilgore Collection
Oral History Collection

Overview of Collections Descriptions

Russ McCown Collection

Formats: 16mm film
Years: 1948-1970s
Amount: Approximately 20 films
Preservation Status: Not digitized
Description: Various footage, mostly unedited, documenting Nashville's history during the mid-20th century. Highlights include:

  • Aviation department footage
  • Flood at Opryland (series of several films)
  • Color-Various Scenes from Metro
  • Terminals and Techniques
  • Briley and Campaigners and School, Interviews
  • Demolition of the Andrew Jackson Hotel
  • Thomas Mayhew Collection

    Formats: 16mm film
    Years: 1962-1975
    Amount: Approximatley 50 reels of film
    Description: Various footage, mostly covering issues related to the new Metropolitan Government. Some of the footage was shot for Mayor Briley to be used to promote and encourage confidence in the new government. Highlights include:

  • Metro Airport (possibly made when the BNA airport was built)
  • "Recreation Gap"
  • City Beautiful - Centennial Park, Parthenon, Burke Wrecking Downtown
  • Sewing at Home
  • Briley Is the Man
  • Briley Library Main Branch
  • Briley Speeches (various reels)
  • The Tennessee Story: The Politcal Parade: Tennessee Politics
  • Mayor's Office, MAyor's REport #9 Nashville Library
  • Tom Tichenor Collection

    Formats: 16mmfilm, 1/4" open reel audio tape
    Years: c. 1972-1985
    Amount: Approximately 20 reels of film, approximately 100 reels of audio tape
    Preservation Status: Not digitized
    Description: Footage related to puppeteer Tom Tichenor, from his personal collection and library collection. Highlights include:

  • Audio recordings of puppet shows (and sound effects tracks); film series of narrative costume films with live actors; film series of puppet show performances
  • Audio recordings of sound effects for puppet shows
  • Tom Tichenor's Puppet Shop
  • Tom Tichenor - Rennaissance Fair Play
  • Bumbling and the Magic Buckles
  • Tom Tichenor - Lamb Puppet Program
  • Miracle of the Puppets 2018.0960 level 3
  • James Kilgore Collection

    Formats: 16mm, 8mm, Super-8mm, grooved disk
    Years: c. 1920-1985
    Amount: Approximately 1,000 assets
    Preservation Status: Approximately 12 reels of film digitized
    Description: Amateur narrative films and home movie footage shot by Nashville resident James Kilgore. Focus on very early WWII footage, family events and travels, footage related to the Methodist Church, and techical experiments in early sound and color. Highlights include:

  • Color fooptage from Italy, WWII "A Yank About Italy"
  • Knoxville World's Fair
  • Summer Lights Music Fest
  • Jimmy Carter Visits Nashville
  • Personalities on Parade (soldiers)
  • Fort Benning Parade
  • Kilgore Film - Army Training
  • James Kilgore Film - Soldiers Play Instruments (1930s)
  • Winter and the Frozen Cumberland, 1940
  • Vacation, 1939
  • A Day at Camp Boxwell (Boy Scouts, 1940)
  • Sidewalks of New York
  • Haury and Smith Open House
  • O.A. Indian Dance Reelfoot Lake
  • Conservatory and Opryland
  • Metro Archives Opryland '72
  • Balloons '85/Jason and the Hot Air Balloons
  • Kilgore Film - Vacation around Kentucky
  • James Kilgore Home Movie - Asheville
  • N.C. Memorial Day Weekend, 1977
  • James Kilgore Film - Traveling, Shrine Circus, 1946
  • Farewell '54, Hello '55
  • Vacation, 1968
  • New Orleans, June 1978
  • Reelfoot
  • Fall Creek FAlls, New York - November 1984
  • James Kilgore Film - Florida
  • Metro Archives Collection

    Formats: Various video, film, and audio
    Years: c. 1960-1990s
    Preservation Status: Not digitized
    Description:Various audiovisual elements under the care of the Metro Archives, mostly relating to local history

  • Metro Archives Council and board meetings (recordings of meetings)
  • United Nations Visit to Tennessee
  • Nashville Chamber of Commerce Presents: Nashville '86 2018.0959
  • Oral histories